Lights in the Fountain near the George Washington Flagpole on Hennepin. Nicollet used to go through where the ING building is and met Hennepin in a point. This was the home of Minneapolis City Hall at the turn of the century. After that, the city built The Gateway Park with a beautiful stone building that had restrooms in it for the visitors that just arrived at the Great Northern Train Station (where the Federal Reserve is now) and the Milwaukee Road station that is still standing. This is the area that became ‘skid row’ in the 50’s and the Gateway Park (which included the restroom building, the flagpole and a fountain that is now in the Lyndale Rose Garden. The city demolished the entire area including what became to be known as the piss-house.
On a personal note, my mom moved to the big city as a young woman. She walked across the Hennepin bridge all dressed up for a job interview with new clothes and white gloves. She walked past Gateway Park when it was known as the piss-house and inhabited by drunk bums. They hassled her as she walked passed and she never forgot that awful moment.
It’s a place with a complex past, that the city keeps trying to change.